Are you a digital marketer, or do you merely post content on ActiveRain?
This question is essential to ask yourself if you want to take your real estate business to the next level. Twelve years, somebody told me that I should be "blogging." He felt it would be smart to "get out there" on the internet, but that was pretty much the extent of the foundation of his advice.
I was clueless. I did not understand the benefit of blogging as I did not see how it would add revenue and then profit to my real estate business. Fortunately, I was smart enough to listen to my friend's advice and lucky to find ActiveRain.
I committed to blogging daily on AR with the thought that I'd go 30 days and then evaluate. After 30 days, I was becoming a better writer, but I wasn't any clearer on the benefits that blogging would create. So I committed to another 30 days.
What I learned during those first 60 days taught me several lessons, first of all, that content marketing would become the foundation of my business. Secondly, that I could make blogging a part of my daily schedule somewhat easy if I knocked it out first thing in the morning.
Over the next few years, my learning curve spiked so much that I felt compelled to write a book on digital marketing so that I had a reference to use to train my growing marketing staff.
I discovered that content marketing (blogging) had little value unless it was part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan. I found that if I was not compounding my blogging efforts with an array of digital marketing systems, then I was likely wasting my time.
Digital Marketing Systems That Enhance Blogging
I remain a big fan of ActiveRain, but if you want to get serious about making money online, then you need to own a private website on your personal domain.
For me, my entire digital marketing plan centers on my real estate website. It is the central point of my online marketing and the primary funnel that brings customers to my home selling teams. I'm not so sure that a digital marketing plan that drives traffic to "somebody else's website" is a smart long-term plan as you do not control the ownership or goals of that website.
I do still post articles on ActiveRain, but it is merely a single tenet of my digital marketing plan. I still post daily, but only on my own website (www.manausa.com).
My primary marketing objectives are to draw home sellers to my home page, and buyers to my property search tool. The content that I write has been selected after diligent study of search terms used in my marketplace on Google. Here are a few of the digital marketing tools that I use to drive these prospective sellers and buyers to my website:
- Social Media Marketing - Social media is great for engagement with current and potential customers, and it acts like the old-fashioned word of mouth (on steroids) in helping an organization “get the word out.”
- Remarketing & Contextual Ads - Perhaps the coolest (or scariest) types of DM is remarketing and contextual ads. Remarketing is merely paying to have your social media ads appear to a known group of people (past clients, past website visitors, uploaded client lists, etc.). Contextual ads are a way of identifying your website and social media visitors and then serving up similar ads to them through a large network of other websites. For example, have you ever been shopping for something online, and then for the next few days, you see that something in the sidebar of many of the websites that you visit? That's somebody else serving up contextual ads to you!
- Offsite Content Marketing - ActiveRain is just one of many sites where I produce content with relevant links back to my website. This draws traffic and does wonders to increase my URL rating and domain rating with the search engines.
- Email Marketing - Email marketing can be highly fruitful if you build a large list and skillfully cultivate it through smart segmentation. Imagine have a list so large and so well "known" that you can market a new listing to the majority of people who might buy it with a single email? Most people in real estate missed the bus on email marketing, but it is still very effective today and is well worth the time and effort it takes to learn and implement. My recent post on ActiveRain laments: "I Should Have Started From Here."
- Local Marketing (NAP) - If you haven't taken the time to evaluate your local position, you need to now. NAP (stands for Name, Address, Phone Number) should be identically placed on the thousands of directories as well as the primary search engines. Evaluate your presence on Google Maps to see how well you are doing.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) - I did not start using search engine marketing (SEM) or PPC during my first five years of digital marketing, simply because I found I could drive traffic to my site in cheaper ways. But I have hit the law of diminishing returns on most other techniques, so I am actively using PPC.
The Tip Of The Iceberg
These elements of digital marketing are merely the tip of the iceberg in what you can use and do to enhance the effectiveness of your content writing on ActiveRain and your own individual website.
I opened this post with a question: "Are you a digital marketer, or do you merely post content on ActiveRain?" Hopefully, you can now answer it clearly.